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MidTexHorn

Live on board the Escape - random thoughts

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A few notes about myself. I'm 49 years old, traveling with my lovely wife of 30 years and a group of friends. This is my second cruise ever, first was on Celebrity Reflection two years ago. I'm a bit of a foodie, like to drink cocktails and beer. And now, on to my random thoughts after 24 hours on board:

 

1) Comparison to Celebrity - younger crowd, much more fun with more to do, but also less elegant and less classy. Loved the bar at the back top of Reflection for sail away. Spice H2O may end up being as good, but it was closed at sail away out of Miami so that was a bummer. Food comparable quality but more choices here. It's a nice looking modern ship, but I probably prefer the look of the Reflection more. LOTS more to do here on Escape though.

 

2) Not a pool person, but if I was I imagine I'd be irritated with this ship. Too small, too loud, too crowded. Obviously some folks are enjoying it, but I'm avoiding it like the plague. Sitting on my balcony right now on the 12th floor, and there's an obnoxious level of noise coming from the pool deck and somebody yelling on a mike. Again, just not my thing.

 

3) Our midship balcony mini suite is nice, love the larger bathroom. Haven't seen our steward yet but he's doing a nice job keeping the place straight so far. He had our pre-ordered water bottles in our room when we embarked which was nice.

 

4) Lots of great bars. So much alcohol, so little time. We are all enjoying our unlimited drinks packages, maybe a little too much, but no real harm done yet (except for some really ugly karaoke at 5 O'clock Somewhere last night.

 

5) Casino is huge and as smokey as everyone says. As a non smoker it is very noticeable, I don't mind it but it is a minor annoyance to some in our group and definitely permeates the areas around the casino. Really liked Celebrity's non smoking casino.

 

6) The ship definitely has a bit of an odd shimmy. Reflection felt more solid, but I think we also had smoother seas on that trip, so not a totally fair comparison. Ship looks and feels a bit top heavy. Weather is a bit windy and waves seem to be coming from all directions, so ship is bobbing around a bit more than we'd like. Nothing major, just a slight annoyance. I would not enjoy hitting 15-20' seas in this thing.

 

7) Everyone enjoyed early dinner last night at Taste. Dinner took about two hours. Good food and service. Go in with the understanding and perspective that they are serving thousands every night so it won't be the greatest thing you ever ate, and you may just be pleasantly surprised. Wings at O-Sheehans mediocre, but nothing has been bad so far. Food at least as good as Celebrity so far. Have not hit buffet yet.

 

8) Sail away at the wine bar on The Waterfront was very pleasant. Nice comfortable outdoor or indoor seating. Nice wine and cocktails and met a lovely couple from Georgia who randomly sat down near us. Will be spending a lot more time at the wine bar, very pleasant and peaceful.

 

Overall, very nice so far. Different feel than Celebrity, but very much enjoying it. I'll have a report on the spa and exercise facility from my wife after she returns from a full day of working out and spa treatments. I'm not going to post every day, but will try to answer questions occasionally and post some closing thoughts at the end of the trip. Now for a nice nap in my air conditioned room, while listening to the waves outside through my open balcony door. Life is good!

 

 

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Thanks for taking the time to post! We sail the Escape in 2 weeks and can't wait! You're adding to our excitement! :D

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Faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous! Great to hear the comparison and I too love both The Norwegian Escape and The Celebrity Reflection. Two of my all time favorite ships.

 

I look forward to more as the week goes by!

 

JW and Jerome

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We leave in less than 90 days. First time on NCL. Looking forward to hearing your viewpoint and any do not miss restaurants as DH and I are also foodies.

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Thanks for posting and looking forward to more of your observations! We haven't tried Celebrity yet, but Escape is a favorite of ours.

 

Have a great cruise:D

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Wow, married at 19 and still together 30 years later: that's impressive!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

 

I was thinking the same thing. He's been married all his life.

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Laughing at the comments about our loooong marriage. Yes, I pretty much don't remember a time when I wasn't married. We met in the 6th grad and got married a year after HS graduation. I have a very patient and understanding wife who puts up with me and my travel shenanigans.

 

Last night was fun. The Super Bowl was shown on the big screen in the Atrium and it was a madhouse. Seats were taken several hours before game time and it was loud and rowdy. We ended up going to the pool area where they showed the game on the two big screens overlooking the pool. It was a great scene. Pool bar was open and they set out a small buffet with nachos, hot dogs, chicken wings and popcorn. Watching the game with beers in hand and our feet in the water was a blast. The people who spent the entire game in the hot tubs while drinking beer and somehow miraculously never went to the bathroom for a pee kinda grossed me out though and put me off of using the hot tubs for the rest of the trip.

 

After the game, we hit up Sugar Cane for a round of mojitos (love the ginger mojito) and then they had salsa dancing in the Atrium. Great fun! Videos were playing on the big screen and the dance floor was packed. Lots of ship staff joined in and they were very good dancers. Even my buddy who never dances was dancing with his wife. Really fun scene.

 

So far still loving this cruise. Wife loved her spa appointments. The keratin hair treatment really helped her hair which was kinda fizzy due to the humidity. They did a good job selling her stuff, as she came back with several hundred bucks worth of gels, creams, who knows what else!!! Oh well, it's vacation.

 

Only real negative so far is that for the second evening in a row Spice H2O was closed in the late afternoon around sunset for a private event. That's usually my favorite time of day to hang out at a bar on the top of the ship, so I was bummed. The Waterfront area was a nice alternative though. We like the St Germain wine spritzers at The Cellars wine bar. Very refreshing.

 

Tomorrow is our first port day in St. Thomas. Our group of 9 friends has booked the Sweet Pea catamaran for a day sail which we're really looking forward to. I'll report back on our experience with them. My wife and I will also be doing our first specialty dinner at La Cucina on the Waterfront so I'll have a report on that.

 

 

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Let me see if I can figure out how to post a few pics

Sail away

f4411ae712d1a62e0a21f9efca669a43.jpg

Super Bowl by the pool

7c954a5a1508cceada3774fe0fefca71.jpg

Salsa dance party

b5bfa6956cae98dc25122f2e8d47ce5b.jpg

I believe this is a bunny

c3ffbdf7d44f4bb77dd9cf927276fb2c.jpg

 

 

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Forgot to mention, my wife had a blast at her exercise classes yesterday. The spin class kicked her butt, and she reports that the class leader is a very cute guy and ridiculously high energy. I may need to go tomorrow to keep an eye on her! ;)

 

Price is $20 per class and I think they'll do a discount if you sign up for a bunch of them. I'll try to remember to post a pic of the class schedule as that is something my wife was wondering about when we were planning our trip and I couldn't find much info online about it.

 

 

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Following! Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip. We are sailing the Escape on July 15. We booked a year ago so the anticipation is killing me!

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If you love food, give Pincho Tapas a try! It was our favorite specialty dining experience, by far! We ended up going there for lunch and it wasn't crowded so the wait staff was very attentive and we really enjoyed their recommendations. Thursday was Beef Wellington night in the MDRs! Just got back on 1/21. If you didn't already have something booked, I would have recommended the Tree Limin' zipline excursion in St. Thomas-loads of fun!

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Faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous! Great to hear the comparison and I too love both The Norwegian Escape and The Celebrity Reflection. Two of my all time favorite ships.

 

I look forward to more as the week goes by!

 

JW and Jerome

 

Likewise, Divina completes the trio!

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Excellent review so far! We sail her on the 18th which happens to be my husbands 55th birthday. There is a group of 7 of us, all family going. I'd like to know great places for large groups to sit and enjoy conversation and drinks.

 

 

 

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We leave in less than 90 days. First time on NCL. Looking forward to hearing your viewpoint and any do not miss restaurants as DH and I are also foodies.

 

We sailed on the Escape last winter, as well as the Norwegian Epic back in 2013....our favorite restaurant by far was Cagney's!!! With that being said, we all had various different steaks each time, I guess my point is that it's really a place for beef lovers! As I recall, there are both pork & lamb options as well as several seafood entrees. (We NEVER get seafood on a cruise as we are from the northeast and we are spoiled by fresh seafood!) as we were on the dining packages on both cruises, we definitely overindulged. Everything from the starters right through to the dessert was A++! We are actually sailing on the Escape in April and that was the one specialty restaurant we just had to go back to (and we aren't on the dining plan!!). This is just mho, however, I am also a foodie that not only enjoys eating a good meal, but also finds great joy in preparing one as well!! Happy sailing !!

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Thanks for your thoughts. I sure wish there were a happy medium somewhere. We love NCL for the entertainment and food, but wish it were more classy (like the Haven, only the entire ship). For us, we noticed a huge difference on our last cruise when we were in the Haven, but to the point where if we left the Haven, we found ourselves running back, and running fast! NCL is still our cruise line of choice, but I do understand where you are coming from with the "noise".

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First of all - Congratulations on your long and happy marriage!!!

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your review. I will be sailing NCL for the first time after many carnival and RCL cruises in 7/22 and looking forward to it!!

 

Happy sailing and enjoy the rest of your cruise!!

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